Bus-ness Class Lounge

25Jun13

Did anyone ask the coach drivers?

I stopped at a motorway services the other day and noticed in the Food Hall that after you’ve got your fast food, you have to sit in an open-plan cafeteria on hard wooden seats at cheap tables listening to screaming kids and the sound chair legs make when they’re dragged across a tiled floor. That is unless you are a coach driver. If you belong to this elite fraternity you get to sit in the “Coach Drivers Lounge”. It’s not actually a separate lounge, it’s a cordoned off, carpeted bit of the food hall. They get faux leather seats, nice tables and a more up-market coffee bar experience.

Why are coach drivers so special? There’s no “truck drivers lounge”, “van drivers lounge” or “limo drivers lounge”. That can’t be a good thing; surely getting special treatment is going to damage their relationship with other professional drivers and breed resentment. That’s how these things start, before you know it, coach drivers will be the butt of lorry driver’s jokes (how many coach drivers does it take to change a light bulb? – One, but you have to wait till he’s finished his handcrafted decaf cinnamon latte).

Is this what coach drivers actually want? As a professional driver of a large vehicle; wouldn’t you want more of a transport café environment? Instead of eating American fast food out of a cardboard box and sucking a sugary drink (that’s mostly ice) through a straw like a five-year old, wouldn’t you rather be using a knife and fork on a huge fry-up on a proper plate and drinking tea from a pint mug like a grown-up?

The biggest problem is that the “coach drivers lounge” can be seen from the cheap seats. If you’re a coach passenger, you can see your driver lording it over you, relaxing in pleather faux-Ikea comfort. That’s going to make you think twice on the way home from your day trip when they pass the hat around!

Craic on!

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